Nava Dance Theatre, currently under the direction of Dr. Nadhi Thekkek, is a bharatanatyam dance company based in San Francisco, California, which uses the classical south Indian dance form as a medium for artistic reflection and discovery. Moreover, the founders of Nava believe that bharatanatyam, while classical, is a modern medium that can be used to discover and understand both traditional and contemporary themes.

Highlights from the last five years include:

  • Two consecutive residencies at CounterPulse through the Performing Diaspora Program to develop and perform “The Cloud Messenger”

  • A commission from the Oakland Ballet to develop and perform, “The Little Elephant in the Room”

  • A residency through the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco

  • Performances at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club (NYC), National Steinbeck Center (Salinas), San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival @ YBCA (SF), The Dance Centre (Vancouver), CounterPulse (San Francisco),

  • Funding awards from the California Arts Council, East Bay Community Fund, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and Dancers’ Group CA$H Grants

For Nava’s most recent production, Nadhi worked in partnership with Oakland-based visual artist Rupy C. Tut to create “Broken Seeds Still Grow,” a bharatanatyam dance and visual art production inspired by the real-life stories from the 1947 Partition Archive and recent South Asian American history. Their creative inquiry sources poetry, eyewitness accounts, and current events to understand the current political climate while reflecting on what it means to belong somewhere.


Follow Nava Dance Theatre on social media to find out about upcoming shows and workshops, or subscribe here.